Local and regional research

In 2018, the University of Duisburg-Essen (Professor Ralf-Peter Fuchs, Department of History/InKuR Institut für niederrheinische Kultur und Regionalgeschichte) and Horst Palace in Gelsenkirchen entered into a collaborative partnership involving a range of projects, such as joint lectures and a course at the professorship of local history. The latter examined the history of Haus Horst during the early modern period; at the end of the course, the students got to evaluate the results together with the experts on site. In 2021, the lectures and additional texts will be published in a series on the history and art history of Horst (‘Horster Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kunstgeschichte’, in print). The InKuR also maintains ongoing partnerships with the towns of Xanten, Emmerich, Wesel, Neukirchen-Vluyn and Geldern.

It has a one-year partnership with the Grafschafter Museum at Moers Castle in Moers (2019–2020*21), which is a continuation of an existing collaboration between the Department of German Studies (Professor Gaby Herchert, Mediaeval Studies; InKuR) and the museum. The lecture ‘Die Spanier in Moers (1586–1597)’ (‘the Spanish in Moers’), which marked the signing of the collaboration agreement, will be published soon.

The RING project, a collaboration between Professor Herchert, the Schlosstheater Moers, the Grafschafter Museum and the Nibelungenmuseum Xanten, concluded in 2019. It involved a RING lecture, public readings of the Nibelungenlied in Moers and Xanten, and school projects on the Nibelungenlied and the era in which it is set (publication in print). Following a series of projects on the Black Death in the Middle Ages, a further literary project is planned for 2021. Titled ‘Eine Stadt erinnert sich’ (‘a city remembers’), it explores the topic of migration in collaboration with the author Feridun Zaimoğlu.

In June 2019, nine historians organised a conference on the Allied occupation of the Rhineland after the First World War (‘Besatzungsherrschaft und Alltag im Rheinland. Die belgische, britische und amerikanische Besatzung nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg’; Professor Fuchs/Benedikt Neuwöhner; a partnership between the UDE’s Professorship of the Local History of the Rhein-Maas Region, InKuR, Niederrhein-Akademie NAAN e.V. and the LVR-Institut für Landeskunde und Regionalgeschichte). The event, hosted in Cologne, focused on the British, Belgian and American occupation, which has received considerably less scholarly attention than the much more widely studied French zone. The attendants discussed the latest insights into the occupiers’ ruling strategies, the complex relationships between the occupiers and the occupied, and the everyday realities of the occupation. They also scrutinised the narrative of the occupation as an extension of the war. By working through previously untouched archive materials, the conference revitalised this field of research, establishing a large body of new questions relating to the lived experience of the occupation and the cultural, political, diplomatic and regional history involved. (The conference transcript has been published in the NAAN series of publications).

The year 2018 saw the 200th anniversary of the dissolution of the old University of Duisburg. To mark the occasion, Dr Hendrick Friggemann (University Archives) and Professor Fuchs organised a conference followed by a series of lectures on the history of higher education in Duisburg and Essen in the 2018/19 winter semester. Hosted by the Kultur- und Stadthistorisches Museum Duisburg, it focused on institutional tipping points in the nineteenth and twentieth century and their impact. How did the structures and tasks of regional (higher-)education institutions change? What was the significance of those changes? An anthology will be published in 2021.